Here at www.thejacktherippertour.com we like a good piece of literature, so it’s not that hard to comprehend if you think about it. That in many ways, the Jack the Ripper saga can be described as a story; a grim and sad story with a bitter ending for his victims. A story where readers are left unsatisfied by the outcome. They must try and come to terms with what transpired, whilst asking questions like how and most importantly, why?
Certainly, there is no love lost or sympathy for the Ripper himself, who remains elusive to this day, 125 years after the first murder took place in Whitechapel. However, there is genuine sorrow, pain, and even affection felt for his victims. These are the innocent lives he took based on whatever baseless, unjustifiable agenda he had – assuming he had one at all.
All of the Ripper’s victims were women, but not just women; they were prostitutes by profession. These were women who had been dealt tough hands in life. Their entire existence seemed like a desperate act of survival, on a constant basis.
Sadly for them, it concluded with the same struggle and in the end, they failed; much to the sorrow of those who eventually got to know their tale. Every person depicts it in his or her own words; an unsolved mystery, an unforgiveable act, a great injustice, a sad love story. They all have their versions.
It is common knowledge that almost all of the Ripper’s victims were prostitutes and this often leads people to misjudge the women involved. As quick as people are to generalise and come to the conclusion that the women were inferior in some way, they never stop to think of the circumstances that put these women there.
Whitechapel was a poor neighbourhood in the 1800s. It was notoriously famous for things like poverty, a high unemployment rate, and a higher crime rate.
During the late 19th century, Whitechapel comprised largely of immigrants who had come from all over Europe, as well as other parts of the world, with their families and all their life’s possessions.
Instead of new hopes and dreams though, they were faced with unemployment, poor shelter facilities, and very little food. Imagine a family living in Whitechapel under such dire circumstances. People will go to extreme measures to provide for their families. No doubt, some of them had to make some tough decisions and go against their moral judgment.
The lack of employment and abundance of poverty led to a rise in crime, as well as prostitution. In some cases, it is mentioned that women sold themselves for a loaf of bread so they could have something to eat or provide for their children. These women were struggling, and the Ripper ended their struggle.
Now, you can loathe the Ripper all you want for his heinous crimes, and it will be well deserved. However, for the people of Whitechapel, who lived in the tough times of the Ripper, you cannot help but feel affection, sorrow, and even admiration.
The Jack the Ripper saga is a sad story, but until the real Ripper is identified, it will remain just that; a sad story without a definitive end. Of course, until such time as the case is solved, you can explore the story and its lead characters on one of our Jack the Ripper tours.